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Advanced Therapy

What is a Certified Bioenergetics Therapist (CBT)?
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
EMDR II Trained Therapist: EMDR
Somatic Experiencing (SE): SOMATIC EXPERIENCING

What is a Certified Bioenergetics Therapist (CBT)?

Bioenergetics is a relational somatic psychotherapy taught nationally and internationally based on the theories developed by Alexander Lowen, MD. The International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA) is the parent organization for the various training institutes worldwide. The training program and certification process requires certification as a mental health professional and successful completion of the four-year didactic and experiential training program, followed by a specific number of supervision hours until the candidate has met the criteria for becoming a “Certified Bioenergetic Therapist” (CBT). Accreditation and certification are awarded according to the protocol established by the individual training Institutes.

The Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (SCIBA) is a recognized affiliate of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA). The training program and certification process for mental health professionals is offered worldwide by numerous organizations affiliated with the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis. Should you wish to know more, please visit their web site at

© Copyright 2001 by Tarra Judson Stariell, MFT, CBT

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Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically-validated approach to working with couples. Its intuitive appeal, clear steps, and strengths-based approach make it one of today’s most popular couples therapy approaches. Developed by Drs. Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg in the early 1980’s EFT enhances the attachment bond between individuals and couples. Love heals and sometimes we are hurt by those we love or we fall into unfavorable patterns of behaving with one another that separate us further and add stress and distress in our relationships. Emotionally focused therapy offers a structured approach to working through relationship issues, teaching new skills and providing the context within which the relationship and those within it are healed and better prepared to live in a nurturing, supportive relationship.

Dr. Johnson has authored numerous texts on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Is on the editorial boards of several marital therapy journals. She is a registered clinical psychologist in the province of Ontario, Canada and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She is also Director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute Inc. and the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is also a Distinguished Research Professor in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit the website:

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EMDR II Trained Therapist: EMDR

EMDR was founded by Dr. Francine Shapiro and is a methodology taken in two distinct courses of study--EMDR I representing the first and EMDR II is considered completion whereupon the clinician is certified. The following is an article by Dr. Shapiro, the founder:

EMDR in the words of it founder, Dr. Francine Shapiro

By Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.
Mental Research Institute
Palo Alto, CA

EMDR is a complex methodology which combines salient elements of the major modalities (e.g., psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, physiological, and interactional). Although the eye movement, or other forms of dual stimulation, has garnered the most attention, the method actually consists of eight phases and numerous procedural elements that all contribute to its efficacy (see Shapiro, 1995a). Far from being viewed as a panacea, EMDR should be used only within a comprehensive treatment plan by a licensed and trained clinician who is experienced in working with the targeted population. To date, thirteen controlled studies of EMDR have been completed, making it the most intensively researched of any method for the treatment of trauma. Two of these studies reported mixed results (Boudewyns et al., 1993; Pitman, et al., 1996) and one obtained null results (Jensen, 1994). Five demonstrated superiority of EMDR over one or more alternative treatments (Boudewyns & Hyer, 1996; Carlson et al., in press; Marcus et al. ,1996; Scheck et al., in press; Vaughan, Armstrong et al., 1994) and two found EMDR to be more effective than a wait-list control (Rothbaum, 1997; Wilson, Becker & Tinker, 1995 and in press). In addition, substantial alleviation of PTSD symptomatology was reported in two controlled component analyses (Renfrey & Spates, 1994; Wilson, Silver, Covi, & Foster, 1996), as well as in numerous case studies. The most recent and rigorously controlled studies with single trauma victims indicate that after three sessions, 84 - 90% of the subjects no longer meet the criteria for PTSD.

Regardless of the primary psychological orientation, clinicians would generally agree that most psychological complaints stem from the impact of earlier life experiences. The EMDR protocols guide clinicians to utilize specific history-taking procedures to ascertain (a) what earlier life experiences have contributed to the symptomatology, (b) what present triggers elicit the disturbance, and (c) what behaviors and skills are necessary to prepare the client for appropriate future action. For instance, the clinician identifies the specific events which taught the client such negative self-assessments as: I'm not good enough; I'm not lovable; I can't succeed; I'm worthless; I can't trust, etc. The assumption is that these earlier life experiences are stored in a dysfunctional fashion, contributing to the client's inappropriate reactions in the present. Consistent with recent conjectures regarding memory (van der Kolk, 1994), it is believed that experiences which provide the underpinnings of pathology have been stored without sufficient processing. When these earlier experiences are brought to mind, they retain a significant level of disturbance, manifested by both emotions and physical sensations. Reprocessing these experiences with EMDR allows the client to gain insight, shift cognitive assessment, incorporate ecological emotions and body reactions, as well as adopt more adaptive behaviors.

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Somatic Experiencing (SE)

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is an advanced technique, research-based and developed by Peter Levine, PhD. It is an approach designed to address, resolve and help individuals heal from trauma. Clinical observations of prey animals in the wild reveal that they possess innate mechanisms within their brain that regulate and discharge their heightened “fight or flight” energy associated with survival behaviors. These automatic mechanisms insulate animals from experiencing trauma even when exposed to life-threatening event. Humans on the other hand possess the capacity to suppress these survival mechanisms and therefore subject themselves unknowingly to trauma after being exposed to a life-threatening experience.

SE helps the individual to reclaim their innate ability to process and discharge the energies and emotions resulting from trauma exposure. SE “titrates” or breaks down into small, incremental steps the trauma so that the individual is able to metabolize the experience rather than staying in an overwhelmed or “traumatized” state which occurs when the regulatory mechanisms of the organism are overwhelmed or over-stimulated due to the suppression of that individual’s suppressed ability to utilize their natural innate capabilities to address, resolve and heal from the trauma.

For more information, please visit the website:

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Copyright 2010 - Tarra Judson Stariell, MFT, CBT - All rights Reserved